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Smythe has large distinct rooms, a variety of dayrooms, and Hogwartian spiral stairs. Fourth Form boys (Year 10) share a modern and comfortable dormitory, Fifth and Sixth Form boys (Years 11, 12 and 13) have their own study bedrooms.

The House is named after Sir Edward Smythe, a Catholic and former student of St Gregory’s, offered the community shelter at his own house, Acton Burnell Hall, in Shropshire, after they were forced to flee from Douai in 1795.

The tempo of life in a boys boarding house can be frenetic to say the least!  Regular weekly outings are arranged with recent House trips including a Smythe Fourth Form Go-karting Grand Prix and more recently the House paintball trip, where the boys relished the opportunity of competing against the House staff.  Smythe has a “family feel” and it is important that all boys see Smythe as a “home from home”.

We are lucky to be fully supported by a devoted team, our delightful, energetic, and can-do House Parents, Miss Nash and Mrs Filer play a crucial role in creating the positive and warm atmosphere around the corridors and social areas of the House.

House Colours: Black & Yellow

Smythe is a happy House where pupils across year-groups mix socially and support one another in a true living-out of the Benedictine values we espouse. Individual success is celebrated by all, and boys in the House excel in music, sport, drama, and a myriad of other activities. But they also know how to work hard academically and are supported in this by a strong team of tutors who take an active interest in the lives of all members of the House community. It is a daily joy to be the Housemaster of such a fine group of young men and to watch them grow and develop during their time in Smythe. It is always a delight to hear from OGs who show a lasting loyalty to their House as they move on from Downside.



“I am so happy when I’m in Smythe, Smythe feels like home, through the students, the staff, the surroundings and how it feels safe. I couldn’t choose anywhere else to be. Thank you to all the staff in house for really making it my home, I will truly cherish the experience of being in Smythe.” James 4F

“Being the smallest boys house, I think Smythe creates a unique, welcoming and warm atmosphere. Boarding in Smythe is really great as we have plenty of rooms to relax in and, Smythe as a house is such a community with different people from all our year groups, not afraid to share talents and to help one another. We have a great team of house staff, our house mothers especially (any problem you have they can sort it, whether you have lost something, had an issue with a lesson they will be on it!) As a house we collaborate on everything together, recently we did house sports and house music which in amongst the boys houses we won, also the house itself is an old homely building with many corridors to explore.” Euan 5F

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